Florida Gulf Coast is the big story of the NCAA Tournament. This chart proves it.

April 1, 2013

College basketball ended for the Fix when our beloved Georgetown Hoyas fell in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament to the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles.

But, Dunk City continued onward -- downing San Diego State before losing in the Sweet 16 to homestate rival University of Florida.  Despite that loss, it's clear that Gulf Coast was the big winner of the tournament -- with the players becoming overnight celebrities and their coach, Andy Enfield, immediately becoming a hot commodity for bigger jobs.

Now, we have actual evidence -- as opposed to "buzz" -- regarding just how big a story Florida Gulf Coast became. Below is a chart courtesy of TargetPoint, a Republican consulting firm, that tracks all mentions in the news and social meda of  each team that made the Sweet 16. The larger the circle, the more mentions. And the Gulf Coast circle is REALLY big.

(Worth noting: This chart covers only through March 28, meaning it misses the horrific injury to Louisville's Kevin Ware on Sunday night.  That injury -- and the reaction of his teammates -- will be, without question, one of the lasting images of this year's tournament as well.)

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
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Chris Cillizza · April 1, 2013